MGU freshers to learn basics of organic farming

The first-year undergraduate students of Mahatma Gandhi University (MGU) will soon learn the basics of organic farming with the varsity deciding to offer a massive open online course in the subject as a mandatory part of the learning programme.

The students in affiliated colleges of the varsity will earn additional four credits by enrolling for the add-on innovative programme. There will be six theory modules each in the first and second semesters and one practical project in each semester.

“They need to carry out organic farming in the practical project. This can be done either in their college or their home. The aim is to kindle their interests in agriculture, especially organic farming, and embrace the sustainable modes of living,” said Santhosh P. Thampi, director of the Inter-University Centre for Organic Farming and Sustainable Agriculture and professor at the School of Management and Business Studies.

Even though the programme is offered as an online course, the authorities decided to include a practical component to it to let the students get a feel of soil and agricultural practices employed in organic farming. “Each college will have a course coordinator for this programme. There will be a faculty member as mentor for each undergraduate course to guide the students. The participants can also seek the help of NSS and NCC volunteers while carrying out organic farming initiatives on the campus,” said Mr. Santhosh.

The online course was initiated after the University Grants Commission (UGC) permitted the top 100 higher educational institutions under the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) to start such courses on their own platforms to promote online learning in view of the pandemic crisis. The university was ranked 49th in the country in the latest NIRF ranking.

The course content has been developed by the former teachers of the Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) while the State Institute of Educational Technology is providing technical support. The students will get certificates after the successful completion of the course. Those interested will be given more farming assignments in the remaining semesters.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 2:57:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/mgu-freshers-to-learn-basics-of-organic-farming/article33034148.ece

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